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Growth of 'Big 4' spells problems for Independents

Some 577 new supermarkets have been given the green light in the UK during the past two years, according to new research from the BBC.

The figures, published today, suggest that the ‘big four’ – Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrison’s – will continue to dominate the market, with their stores accounting for 480 of the new openings.

The survey is likely to be bad news for independent retailers, many of whom have been forced to shut up shop in recent years because of competition from larger chains.

The Federation of Small Businesses told the BBC its survey was “a concern”.

A range of campaign groups have long urged governments to change planning rules to make it more difficult for supermarket chains to set up branches when this would be detrimental to the interests of independent retailers.

Some 12,000 independent stores closed last year, and it is thought that 2010’s figures will be similarly bad.

For their part, the supermarket chains say that their expansion is only made possible by consumer demand, and that they are providing jobs to local communities.

Source : Josh Hall -

22 December 2010
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